The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty for the captives and release for the prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1. These are the words of Isaiah, which Jesus repeated (Luke 4) and then proclaimed that he is the one who will bring God’s transformation to the world.
Sometimes at this time of the year it is easy to see the secular transformation as shopping mall decorations go up and people seek the “warm fuzzies” of end-of-year do’s. Many of us get caught up in gift giving, food preparation and holiday plans. The tree and lights have to be put up and the mail sent. The question for us today is “What is God doing in the lives of the people that offers hope and restoration in our broken world?” A more personal question is, “What do I need to change in order to allow God’s transformation to take place in me and through me to the world?” These are hard question to tackle but we can so easily slide into the sentiment of the manger scene while overlooking the ultimate purpose of Jesus’ birth. We can overlook the injustices of poverty, hunger, refugees and the broken hearted so that Isaiah’s and Jesus’s words fall on deaf ears. Sometimes we even overlook such conditions when they are right beside us. The light that is Christ always banishes the darkness so that despite a world that seems grim, we can offer love and hope to all. Transformation of lives and conditions always starts with love. This Advent let us pray for transformation in our communities and ourselves and be ready to respond in love to those Jesus brings us.